1000W Pure Sine Wave AC Power Inverter
Almost everything in the van runs off 12V DC power, or can be plugged into a 5V USB port, which itself is connected to the 12V DC supply. However, some things need mains AC power. Some of those things will for the foreseeable future (a domestic vacuum cleaner, a charger for the cordless drill batteries,…
Huawei E5577 Mobile 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot
Otherwise known as a ‘mi-fi’, this allows us to take a 4G signal (via an external antenna) and create a wifi network inside the van. It has a pretty good battery, and charges by USB. Pretty simple to set up, and no complaints so far. £80 from Amazon (affiliate link).
Poynting 4G Antenna
We have this mounted on the roof, wired up via the 2 attached cables to a Huawei 4G ‘mi-fi’ device; which sets up a wifi hotspot inside the van. The antenna, as well as being far more powerful than the one built into the mi-fi device (or our phones) is also mounted outside of the…
Working in the van
If you follow #vanlifers on Instagram, you’ll see lots of photos of attractive people tapping way at laptops sprawled on beds in their vans. Much like the promotional photos of people checking their bank statements sitting barefoot on sofas, or silver-haired, fully-toothed oldies browsing through holiday websites on their iPads in Sunday magazines, these are…
2018-09-21 Finished the dog bed
I wrote a while back about prototyping the dog bed. We tested it out – it seemed pretty solid, and Loki was happy to climb up there – so I went ahead and built it out of better materials. It consists of 3 main parts: A 60 cm x 80 cm Eurocrate plastic box, that…
One of the unexpected things I learned from Fab Academy was the importance and value of documentation. Fab Academy is assessed on documentation – not what you make, but how well you evidence what you’ve done, explain what you discovered, and describe the process of learning and solving problems. This is valuable not just for…
2018-08-03 Prototyping a dog bed
It’s been a while since I posted an update, so to get back into the swing of things, here’s something we’ve been working on over the last couple of months: a safe place for the dog to lie, especially when we’re driving.
Fab Academy: Graduated!
Well, that was a blast. In mid-January, I quit my job, and started a new adventure at the University of Brighton fab lab: Fab Academy. I knew it would be interesting, challenging, and hard work; little did I know how much. Over the course of 5 months, I came to love walking down the corridors…
Treatex Hardwax Oil
One of many combination oil and wax finishes suitable for wood (Osmo is another popular brand which I haven’t used). It gives good plywood a beautiful smooth sheen, and is easy to apply with a rag. Way better than water-based PU varnish, in my experience. £26 for a 1 litre can.
These are 45cm, full-extension, side-mounted, ball bearing runners. If your drawers and cabinets are square, and a good fit, proper runners like these are the way to go (rather than fitting wooden rails for the drawers to slide on). They feel secure, smooth, and let you pull the drawer out all the way when opening.…